Twixtmas ’tis the time of year after Christmas Day that lingers on until the last Quality Street is eaten, the mince pies have been consumed, you can’t eat any more cheese and you’ve run out of cold turkey… and patience. It’s that bit before you go back to reality and start making up New Year’s resolutions. Whether you have a house full of guests to
get out of the house entertain, or you need some fresh air and perspective, here’s some ideas for things to do and places to visit in Hertfordshire between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, so that Twixtmas doesn’t drive you Christmas crackers.
Don’t forget that if you’re looking for inspiration for days out or things to do then check out the Days Out blogs, Indoor Places To Visit In Hertfordshire, or have a look at my list of Country Parks in and around St Albans.
Wishing you a very Merry Twixtmas…
The weather can change and so can the details of events, so please check directly with the venue or organisers BEFORE you travel.
St Albans Cathedral – Carols on Boxing Day
St Albans Cathedral, Sumpter Yard, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 1BY
St Albans Cathedral will be hosting an informal Carols on Boxing Day service on Wednesday 26th December 2018 at 4pm. If you are enjoying a walk in the park, then make sure you visit the Cathedral to enjoy this short and informal carol service and you can also visit the crib. Visit the website for more information.
The St Albans Mummers keep an ancient tradition alive this Boxing Day, Wednesday 26th December 2018, performing St George and the Dragon at various locations around St Albans: The Town Hall 11.30am; The White Hart Hotel 12.15pm; St Albans Abbey (West End) 1pm; The Fighting Cocks 1.45pm; The Clock Tower 2.30pm. Visit the website for more information.
Ashridge Estate, Moneybury Hill, Nr Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1LT
Go along to Ashridge Estate from Wednesday 26th December 2018 to Monday 7th January 2019 and enjoy a self-led walk, following the Christmas puddings on a way-marked route through the woodland. A fun, free trail for all the family, although the route isn’t suitable for buggies. Wear clothing suitable for the weather conditions and stout walking shoes. Visit the website for for more information.
Hertford Theatre, The Wash, Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG14 1PS
Don’t miss The Astonishing Adventures of Pinocchio from Wednesday 26th December 2018 to Tuesday 1st January 2019 at the Hertford Theatre. Roll up, roll up! It’s the Cricket’s Carnival…be astounded by the slyest of sly old foxes; gobsmacked by the awesome power of the blue fairy and watch in wonder as that chip off the old block, Pinocchio, strives with all his puppet heart to become a real child. The Astonishing Adventures of Pinocchio is brought to you by the same creative team behind the smash hit shows ‘Rapunzel,’ ‘Little Red Riding Hood‘ and ‘Hansel and Gretel‘. Take a look at my review of our visit to this year’s Hertford Theatre Panto or visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 1LZ
Join a magical adventure to meet a Wicked Queen with a jealous streak, a handsome prince who’s searching for love and the fairest of all damsels in distress from Wednesday 26th December 2018 to Sunday 27th January 2019. Starring Matt Lapinskas (Eastenders and Dancing on Ice) as Prince Simon, Hannah-Jane Fox (CBBC’s Millie Inbetween) as the Wicked Queen, Stevenage’s favourite Dame Paul Laidlaw as Dame Dolly and Aidan O’Neill, back by popular demand, as Herbie the Huntsman. Enjoy all the magic and mayhem of a truly traditional Christmas extravaganza. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Hawthorne Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL8 6BX
Enjoy some magical, high-flying pantomime fun this Christmas at the Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City from Wednesday 26th December 2018 to Sunday 6th January 2019. The wicked Abanazer is seeking the magic lamp that contains the all-powerful Genie, so that he can rule the world and he’s just steps away from succeeding! Is all hope lost? No! Help is at hand… a family of wannabe heroes are here to foil Abanazer’s evil scheme! The innocent local lad, Aladdin, his brother, the cheeky Wishee Washee and their fearsome mother, washerwoman Widow Twankey are ready to intervene and save the day! Packed with songs, silliness, audience participation for the whole family and all the fairytale magic of traditional pantomime brought to you by the same team that brought you ‘Beauty and the Beast‘ and ‘Dick Whittington,‘ both directed by Helen Crosse and starring Welwyn Garden City’s favourite Dame, Michael Totton. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Watford Palace Theatre, 20 Clarendon Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD17 1JZ
Festive family fun starts on Wednesday 26th December 2018 until Saturday 5th January 2019 at the Watford Palace Theatre. Enjoy a lavish spectacle with live musicians on stage, stunning sets and costumes, song, dance and slapstick, performed straight from the heart by a talented company of new faces and Watford Palace Theatre favourites. For 2018 join Jack, Dame Trott and their traditional pantomime cow on the most giant adventure of all. The ultimate seasonal treat for you, your family and friends. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Ashridge Estate, Moneybury Hill, Nr Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1LX
Go along to Ashridge Estate on Thursday 27th December 2018 at 10am and blow away the cobwebs with a bracing walk in the Ashridge countryside after Christmas. Adults £5, children £3. Wear clothing suitable for the weather conditions and stout walking shoes. Visit the website for more information.
Wick Wood, Marshals Drive, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 4RQ
The Woodland Trust’s St Albans Local Support Group will be running their annual Santa Hunt in Wick Wood on Thursday 27th December 2018, 10am-12noon. Find 5 different Christmas tokens and bring them back to be exchanged for small chocolate treat. There is a small entrance fee 50pence per child and all proceeds go to the Woodland Trust. The woodland paths are muddy so only suitable for off-road buggies that you don’t mind getting mud on. Dress for the weather and wear wellies! Visit the website for more information.
Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH
From Thursday 27th December 2018 to Wednesday 2nd January 2019, 11am-6pm, visit Waddesdon Manor for your last chance to enjoy the Winter Light Trail. Make sure you stay after dark as Waddesdon will also be home to an illuminated light trail from dusk until 6pm and 3D light projections created by students from the Guildhall School. Don’t forget to book in advance for your timed tickets to see the house filled with dazzling decorations and trees sparkling with lights. Visit the website for more information.
Skate Van Hage
Van Hage, Great Amwell, Pepper Hill, Hertfordshire, SG12 9RP
Van Hage Great Amwell’s real ice rink is back for another year! Until Monday 7th January 2019 you can experience the magic of Christmas with Skate Van Hage public skating sessions. Skate Van Hage sessions are very popular so it is a good idea to book online to avoid disappointment. You can also book online to see Father Christmas. Visit the website for more information.
Lee Valley White Water Centre, Station Road, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, EN9 1AB
From Thursday 27th December 2018 to Sunday 6th January 2019, enjoy Christmas at Lee Valley White Water Centre.Lee Valley White Water Centre becomes home to the Lee Valley Ice Rink and on selected dates you can also enjoy the Fun Fair. Book in advance on selected dates. Visit the website to book your tickets, or for more information and opening times.
Abbey Theatre, Westminster Lodge, Holywell Hill, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 2DL
This Christmas come to the Abbey Theatre and see A Christmas Carol from Thursday 27th to Saturday 29th December 2018. Make your Christmas complete with a trip to Victorian London, home of old Ebenezer Scrooge. On a snowy Christmas Eve, three ghosts take Scrooge on a fantastic journey. By glimpsing his past, present and future, he learns to love Christmas and finally make friends with the kind people around him. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
Natural History Museum at Tring, Akeman Street, Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 6AP
Visit the Natural History Museum at Tring from Thursday 27th to Monday 31st December 2018 and set off on a journey around the Museum to find 12 lost polar bears. Discover which animals live with the polar bears in the Arctic and find out a few facts. Complete the trail and receive a chocolatey surprise. Suitable for all ages, no need to book in advance. £1 per child. Visit the website to check opening times and for more information.
St Albans Museum + Gallery, Market Place, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 5DJ
Visit the new St Albans Museum + Gallery from Thursday 27th December 2018 to Sunday 3rd March 2019 (closed 1st January 2019), to see the latest major exhibition: ‘Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered’. Originally displayed at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood, this exhibition celebrates the joy, excitement and occasional frustration of playing board games. Come and see some of the most iconic, enthralling and visually striking games from the V&A’s outstanding national collection of board games. Entry is £5 for adults and £2.50 for under 18s. Take a look at my review of our visit to the Game Plan exhibition.
Jordans Mill – Naughty Elf Trail
Jordans Mill, Southill Road, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 9JX
Visit Jordans Mill from Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th December 2018, pick up a trail sheet from the mill shop (£1.50 per child) and enjoy the Naughty Elf Trail! The naughty Jordans Elf has gone missing from the North Pole and has been causing mischief each night in the garden and meadow. Come along and follow the clues on the trail to find out what this cheeky elf has been up to! No need to book, just turn up. The gardens at Jordans Mill are open 7 days a week from 9am to 4pm. Visit the website for more information.
Verulamium Museum, St Michael’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 4SW
Go along to Verulamium Museum from Thursday 27th December to Sunday 6th January 2019, and discover Verulamium Museum’s hidden treasures with the help of this special festive trail suitable for all the family. Verulamium Museum is free to residents of St Albans District but there is a small admission fee for non-residents which helps to care for all the incredible treasures in the museum’s collections. Visit the website for more information.
Datchworth Villlage Hall, 52 Datchworth Green, Datchworth, Hertfordshire, SG3 6TL
From Friday 28th to Sunday 30th December 2018 join Signature Theatre UK at Datchworth Village Hall and watch your favourite characters come to life in their production of Winnie the Pooh. A festive treat that will leave you feeling a little happier and a little more nostalgic. Visit the website to book tickets or for more information.
St Albans Museum + Gallery, Market Place, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL3 5DJ
Visit the St Albans Museum + Gallery from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th December 2018, 2-4pm, to take part in simple craft activities inspired by the museum and gallery’s Game Plan exhibition. This activity is free and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Visit the website for more information.
St Albans Sub Aqua Club Swimming Pool, Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 1HJ
The St Albans Polar Bear Plunge returns for another year. Start 2019 off with a splash and take a refreshingly cool outdoor dip, or just come along to support the plungers at the Sub Aqua Club pool on Cottonmill Lane in St Albans and help raise money for charity. Book your slot to take the plunge on 1st January 2019, 11.30am to 4pm. Spectators are very welcome. There will be hot chocolate, cakes, as well as face painting and children’s activities. All spectators and plungers must purchase tickets in advance.
RAF Museum London, Grahame Park Way, London, NW9 5QW
From 2nd January 2017 RAF Hendon is open 7 days a week, welcoming families for a fantastic day out and admission is free (a car parking charge does apply). There are over 100 aircraft at the museum and an interactive gallery, designed especially for children. The majority of the exhibits are in the aircraft hangers so you can escape the cold and/or the rain whilst learning more about the aircraft collection. For more information visit the website.
Gosling Sports Park, Stanborough Road, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL8 6XE
Inside the Gosling Sports Park you’ll find Better Extreme Trampoline Park, full of trampolines to jump on and bounce on. Children over 5 years old can explore the main arena’s different zones: there’s Dodge Ball, a Battle Beam, Trapeze, Foam Pits, Basketball… as well as all the trampolines in the main arena. There’s also a special under 5’s area for children 18months to 5 years old, with trampolines and mini foam-pits. Take a look at what we thought of the new Better Extreme Indoor Trampoline Park in my preview here.
Stockwood Discovery Centre, Stockwood Park, London Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 4LX
Stockwood Discovery Centre is a fantastic and free place to visit, with beautiful gardens to explore, an outdoor children’s play area, as well as an indoor collection of carriages – the Mossman Collection, and the garden cafe. If you are looking for somewhere to while away an hour or two in January, Stockwood Discovery Centre is a great option. Visit the website for more information and opening times.
Details of events are correct at the time of publishing.
Please check details with the venue of event, before you travel.